Donald Trump said on Friday night that he believes the FBI tried to overthrow his presidency. According to The Guardian, the president alleged that the FBI was “spying” on him during his 2016 campaign. His claims were in response to a report that surfaced, alleging that an FBI lawyer may have altered a document related to surveillance efforts on former campaign adviser Carter Page.
The FBI obtained a warrant to monitor the communications from Page in 2016 and 2017 as part of the Russia investigation. It’s alleged that one individual may have changed some information. While speaking to Fox & Friends, Trump focused on the allegation to repeat his frequent claim that he was spied on and that the Russia investigation is a “witch hunt” against him.
“This was spying on my campaign – something that has never been done in the history of our country,” Trump said. “They tried to overthrow the presidency.”
Trump argued that the situation is a continuation of an attempt to prevent him from winning the election.
“Personally, I think it goes all the way … I think this goes to the highest level,” he added. “I hate to say it. I think it’s a disgrace. They thought I was going to win and they said, ‘How can we stop him?”
The Justice department is conducting a review of the Russia investigation, led by Robert Mueller, which has so far resulted in charges against six people involved in Trump’s campaign, including Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, and most recently, Roger Stone. Trump has been accused last week of possibly lying to the FBI during the investigation.
Justice department head Michael Horowitz will likely release his findings on December 9, and they are expected to focus in part on the use of surveillance against a former Trump adviser.
Early reports on the findings have trickled in from several news sources, indicating that the investigation will likely find mistakes made by some lower-level FBI officials but nothing egregiously political from officials in higher-up positions.
Republicans have focused on the warrant that was issued to surveil Page, claiming that it was given under false or politically-motivated pretenses.
“They got my warrant – a fraudulent warrant, I believe – to spy on myself as a way of getting into the Trump campaign,” Page said. “There has been a continued cover-up to this day.”
But the FBI has refuted the allegations. FBI Director Chris Wray has said that the surveillance was not tantamount to spying and the warrant was legally obtained.